It’s not a shock to hear Don Cherry referred to as a negative influence, but a renowned neurologist is pointing a finger at the high-collared commentator for fostering a culture of violence in professional hockey. Referring to studies showing an increased frequency of concussions among pro hockey players, Dr. Charles Tator insists that Cherry’s “rock ’em, sock ’em” schtick promotes dangerous head injuries, and that the broadcast icon should be calling for a moratorium on head shots. The comments were made at a Hockey Canada meeting last week in Regina.
Hockey Night In Canada jumped to defend Cherry: “Everything from championing on-ice rules and equipment changes to leading the STOP sign campaign,” a CBC press release states. “He has been the leader in teaching tough, smart hockey.”
Dr. Tator believes that Don Cherry could spearhead a movement to help reduce concussive brain injuries in the same way he once spoke out about aggressive hits from behind, which were causing neck damage in players. When asked by 680 News reporter Colin D’Mello what he thought of the doctor’s accusation, Cherry answered with his trademark subtlety: “I don’t give a fuck about him.”